Dwarf Sidious writes:
Dunno if anyone else let you know, but AliasWavefront, makers of Maya software, had Jason (sorry didn’t catch the last name) (I’m guessing Jason Schleifer – A.) from WETA in to do a half hour on how Maya was used to help make FOTR and show the new trailer. I really hope some of the footage he shows makes it onto the DVD. The Massive tests were especially cool; PJ originally wanted 125,000 characters in the battle, but it just looked like mud onscreen, so they settled on 5,000 (which was still awesome, no?). Other things like how they created digital versions of the characters for various shots such as the Bridge at Khazad-dum (if I get this wrong, too bad–my intent is good), which I had thought was forced perspective or something. A bit on how they did the forced perspective, which was amazing in and of itself–check out how Frodo and Gandalf are on different ends of the table at one point, but look like they’re sitting across from each other. Also, digital versions of the costumes/armor were created with “Maya Cloth”, as was the Cave Troll’s chain–it is chain painted onto cloth which is then erased.
Oh, and watching PJ carry a camera through the virtual Balin’s Tomb to get the natural-looking shots was super-cool.